Chapter 13 Civil Friendship: A Proposal for Legal Bonds Based on Friendship and Care

In: Conceptualizing Friendship in Time and Place
Author: Natascha Gruver

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This article addresses the increasing importance within Western welfare states, to adequately deal with the growing need to facilitate alternative relations of home-care and support for its citizens, as well as finding lower cost models. Currently government care budgets seem to demand ever increasing funding, especially in relation to the elderly. In this context the author argues for the option of expanding care-leave facilities, to include not only close family members, but to register also close friends living in the vicinity, who can be granted care-leave to support the citizen concerned.

This issue is rapidly gaining importance as the traditionally relatively small nuclear families tend to have few children, while employment requirements often involve substantially larger distances than former generations experienced. Since in the West intergenerational care is seldom included in such schemes, elderly people still largely rely on costly ‘Senior Homes’ for their old age security.